National Express East Anglia (NXEA) Wifi Service

Some of you might remember when this Blog was mainly about tech and not constant articles about Suffolk County Council! Anyway I am taking some time out of the battle with Suffolk CC today a review of the National Express East Anglia WiFi Service which launched on the mainline London Liverpool Street to Norwich trains last month at long last.

Firstly this is a long overdue and welcome service.When it launched despite having a trusty Three Mifi which I love and has given me reliable Internet access for some time I decided to subscribe to the new service more to check it out than anything else.


Unless you sit in First Class (where it is "free") then you have to pay for WiFi and it's not exactly cheap. £2.95 a journey or £19 a month in fact.

Thing is if you head over to the Three Store you can pick up a MiFi for a one off £40 cost and pay £16 a month for 5Gb of data. Total cost for first year almost the same as the NXEA WiFi option

For one off journeys though it is more of an option although note that it is £2.95 per journey not per day so nearly £6 there and back.


Like many public wifi services you need to register to use the service and you then pay by credit card. This worked fine and for the first use I just logged in and this was easy.

Problem comes when you come back to use the service again. It makes you type a long alphanumeric code in which is a real pain especially on something like an iPad. Sometimes the connection page doesn't appear automatically and it can take 5 mins plus to login.


Apparently NXEA use a combination of satellite and aggregated 3G services to provide what is pretty reliable coverage for most of the journey. It even works (thanks to antenna at both ends of the train) in the Ipswich tunnel!

Speed is more of an issue though. Sometimes it is fine, other times hardly usable and really too slow and I resorted back to the MiFi.

  • For commuters something like a MiFi is a better deal and you get to use it other places too other than the train
  • For casual use it is fine if a little expensive. £2.95 a day rather than per journey would be more wearable
  • Web connection page is annoying and fiddly. Having to remember a long alphanumeric code and even type it in manually on an iPad is not good
  • Service is variable and at times I resorted to using the Three MiFi which seemed faster although the NXEA Wifi gave coverage in more areas
  • So in conclusion the service is welcome but too expensive, slow at times and not so easy to use (erm, a little like NXEA's trains!!)
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